I'm beginning to think I've covered most of the ways to be green and save money in some post or other over the past year on this blog. I know I've mentioned this one before. But it's worth repeating for Green Saves Green month.
Producing meat can cause environmental problems. A lot of resources go into keeping and feeding the animals while they are alive. In America and several other developed countries we demand meat, particularly red meat and chicken, at very low prices. That give those who raise the animals a reason to justify pumping up man of the animals with hormones and antibiotics which are passed on to us when we eat the meat. The animals are also fed cheap, unnatural diets which at the very least cause them severe gastro-intestinal discomfort.
Once the animals are turned into meat, the packaging, the shipping, and the refrigeration of the products also harm the environment.
Two ways to combat this are to eat organic, truly free range meat (which is always more expensive but for a good reason) or eat less meat. Since the first option doesn't really serve our green saves green purposes, today we'll talk about eating less meat.
Vegetarian dishes are usually less expensive to make at home than dishes with meat in them. By switching to one or two meatless dinners a week, you can cut your grocery bill and cut your environmental impact at the same time.
Some meatless meal ideas that don't involve tofu or faux meat products (because when you start adding those ingredients, your family will fear you're trying to actually turn them into vegetarians instead of just making some minor changes in the way you eat)
- Hearty soups like 17 bean and barley or minestrone (I will personally testify to the yumminess of both of these recipes)
- Grilled cheese and tomato soup - don't just stick to white bread and american cheese. Use wheat or grain breads and pile on combinations of your favorite cheeses. Personally for my tomato soup dipping, I like a combo of American and Swiss on Wegman's 9 Grain Bread
- A vegetarian lasagna like this artichoke/spinach version
- Vegetarian chili - mmmmm.... with a side of creamy mashed potatoes
- Pizza - as long as you don't add pepperoni, sausage, ham... on top
The ideas for meatless meals are endless. My favorite recipe site is allrecipes.com. If you type in the word vegetarian you'll come up with hundreds of user rated and commented on recipes to choose from.
Photo from the artichoke/spinach lasagna recipe on allrecipes.com